The purpose of this paper is to model the priorities, expectations and needs of the inhabitants of Istanbul, a city with a population of about 10 million, from a multidimensional perspective, In this way, effective allocation of the city's resources can be achieved to improve the quality of life (QOL) for such a large number of people, which is the primary concern of the local authorities as well as the urban planners. For this reason, a survey is conducted in Istanbul so that the priorities of the inhabitants are revealed and the city where they would like to live is portrayed. The data obtained are used as input for hierarchical conjoint analysis. The survey is primarily based on the evaluation of hypothetical, experimentally designed city profiles for four different constructs on a 0-10 rating scale. The relative importance of the constructs is estimated through the eigenvector approach. The research is an interdisciplinary group work acting as a bridge between urban planning and multiattribute decision making; thus judgements of experts from different disciplines are used in every stage of the study. (C) 2001 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.